Technical Meeting on the Development of the ASEAN Peatland Fire Prediction and Warning System

Technical Meeting on the Development of the ASEAN Peatland Fire Prediction and Warning System

13-14 July 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Under the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze pollution (AATHP), the ASEAN Environment Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Peatland Management Strategy (APMS) in November 2006 to act as a framework to guide the sustainable management of peatlands for the period 2006-2020. One of the key strategies under the APMS is Fire Prevention, Control and Monitoring which aims to reduce and minimise the incidents of fire and associated haze. The first attempt to develop a regional peatland fire prediction and warning system was held in Singapore in February 2008 under the Capacity Building to Improve Peatland Management and Reduce Land and Forest Fires and Associated Transboundary Haze Pollution in the ASEAN Region Project funded by the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP). This technical meeting is being organized as a follow-up to the initial action under the AADCP Project and aims to build on the early initiatives of the project as well as review the implementation of its recommendations.

A preparation group consisting of experts from the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD), Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM), Forestry Department Selangor (FDS) and the Global Environment Centre (GEC) as well as from the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), is being formed to initiate the development of the System, which will be further reviewed at the Technical Meeting in July 2010.

The Meeting

This Meeting is jointly organised by the ASEAN Secretariat and GEC as part of the ASEAN Peatland Forests Project (APFP), in collaboration with the ASMC and the MMD. The workshop aims to bring together experts from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to design a peatland fire prediction and warning system which could be adopted by countries in the ASEAN region. This activity will focus on the integration of systems currently being used or developed by the countries, notably:

–          Hotspot monitoring carried out by the ASMC in Singapore

–          the Fire Danger Rating System (FDRS) maintained by MMD; and

–          the use of maps on peat soils and fire-prone areas by local agencies and experts to identify peat fire-prone areas.

The Meeting would serve as the platform to deliberate on the design and development of a peatland fire prediction and warning system that could be used in the ASEAN region. The focus will be on the development of a workable and efficient system to predict fires in peatlands and send out a warning so that preventive measures can be taken on the ground. The plan is that the system would be tested on selected project sites in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Meeting is intended to be a gathering of specialists with varied experiences in research, operation and management in both peat and fire issues. The Meeting will include experts and representatives from academia, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Expected Outputs

It is expected that this Meeting will be the first of a series of similar meetings to discuss the development and operations of a fire prediction and warning system. Expected outputs from these meetings are:

–          The development, operation and adoption of a SEA Peatland Fire Prediction and Warning System

–          Identification of the roles and responsibilities of lead agencies in the development and operation of the System

–          Agreed tasks and actions to be undertaken by the lead agencies; and

–          The modality and means for ongoing support for the development and operation of the System.

Draft Programme

Day 1

Welcome Address and Opening Ceremony by Host Country

Session 1: Fire Prediction and Warning

–          Overview of APFP and Current Status of Initiatives to Develop an Integrated System by Regional Project Executing Agency

–          Overview of existing efforts in fire prediction and monitoring in SE Asia by MMD, ASMC and Thai Pollution Control Department (PCD)

–          Using the Fire Prediction and Warning System to Stop Peat Fires by representatives from Indonesia and Malaysia

–          Q&A Session

–          Optional Field Visit: Visit to the MMD Office in Kuala Lumpur and/ or Field visit to Raja Musa Forest Reserve

Session 2: Break-out Discussions

Break-out discussions on

–          further refinement of the prediction and warning system

–          ground operation of the system in Malaysia; and

–          ground operation of the system in Indonesia.

Presentations by Groups (i), (ii) and (iii)
General discussion and comments

Day 2

Session 3: Fire Prevention and Mobilization

–          Case Study 1: Community-based Fire Prevention in DoE-Riau Project (by Jikalahari and Riau Provincial Government)

–          Case Study 2: Fire Prevention and Mobilization in Thailand by PCD, Thailand

–          Case Study 3: Community-based Fire Prevention in Raja Musa Forest Reserve by Selangor Forest Department

–          Case Study 4: Fire Prevention in Pahang and Johor by Drainage and Irrigation Department, Malaysia

Focus of Tools for Fire Prevention: Awareness, canal blocking, zero & controlled burning, community patrolling, community-based fire control (including brigades), law enforcement and others.

Session 4: Break-out Discussions

–          Break-out discussions to identify practical fire prevention measures in pilot sites linked to prediction and warning (one group each for Selangor and Riau)

–          Presentations by two groups on recommendations for Selangor and Riau

–          General discussion and comments

–          Next Steps and Recommendations

–          Conclusions

For more information please consult:

Global Environment Centre
2nd Floor, Wisma Hing
78, Jalan SS2/72
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor DE

Tel:      +603-7957-2007
Fax:     +603-7957-7003


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